Easy and Elegant Life

The Search for Everyday Elegance and the Art of Living Well.

Black and …

Now that the festivities of Mardi Gras are behind us, we turn again to serious sartorial colourings…

Delving further into the world of smart casual and thanking God that it is still cool enough to wear a sweater (what am I to do in the warm months to come?), we come to the colour combination that I wore most often whilst travelling in Europe. At least in the cooler months. Black and ….

The sweater is merino. I have yet to venture into black shirt territory (just the associations…..), but I will wear a black sweater. I’ve buttoned this one up all the way and tied a maroon and cream glenplaid patterned large square under the collar to keep my beard from tearing up the wool too much. the trousers are an olive-y brown wool twill that are the most comfortable pair of trousers in which to travel that I have ever owned. They have a natural give to them, thanks to the weave of the fabric, and don’t wrinkle. I would commission a suit of this stuff in a heartbeat.

Rule #1 still applies here. The trousers are full-cut, double reverse pleated. Which means that I wear them with a more fitted sweater.

The colour scheme is particularly forgiving when it comes to shoes. I’ve worn orange-brown lug soled bluchers, chocolate suede monks, and dark brown paddock boots as well as stout, black, double-soled plain toe bluchers with these trousers. A brogue or even a Doc Martin oiled leather would go just as easily. At the moment, I’m inside and shod in dark brown, black piped Belgians. The shoes take the slightly militaristic edge off the whole.

4 thoughts on “Black and …

  1. Very good looking Chris, I love this combination. With a sport coat you can go most anywhere.

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  2. Tonal dressing was a bust, but these last two with plenty of contrast in color and texture are hits. I think you’re still venturing more towards smart casual than a business casual look, but the journey is reward not the destination.

    Keep it up and don’t stop beating the “fit is key” drum.

  3. I am a fan of tonal dressing, myself, but you have to know what you are doing and have a good, trained eye. And it is easier to dress monochromatically when the quality of fabric is high and the tailoring is perfect for your body type. Women make the mistake of thinking any black-on-black combination provides instant sartorial chic, but the ingnorance of fit and cloth quality makes them look frumpy.

    I like the subtle contrast of black paired with brown; next to gray and brown, this is my favorite winter pairing. The trick is picking classic lines, proper fit, and knowing your limitations with regard to skin tone. But then, isn’t that the trick to any clothing choice?

  4. This is very handsome, Mr. E. My husband has a pair of trousers in that color, and the wool fabric has a certain name I can’t remember right now–something cloth? They have lasted forever and have a nice drape. We have a good male friend who is color blind. Imagine that challenge! His rule of thumb is to shop with the same few clothiers all the time and let them advise him. Or he just buys whatever is on the mannequin, right down to the tie and socks. His closet is highly organized . . . not like some . . .

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